Brother Peter

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About Brother Peter

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    The Rocky Mountains

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    comparative religions, writing, gardening, wine making, cooking

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  1. Rev. Hensley was unique, like most church founders. I think his church has expanded and matured way beyond what he might have foreseen.
  2. Thanks. I have read several of the books written by Jesus seminar members. They were what initally got me interested enough to start doing my own research. Some of their quotes are the same as mine. I think I have given more emphasis on non-biblical books in putting together my final list. It has been a interesting project.
  3. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you- I spent a week in Colorado celebrating my son's wedding. First, please go up several posts (I think it is post #4 or 5) where I talk a little about how I researched this. We all realize many of the gospel stories present conflicting ideas. The details just don't match up. As you start looking at the "extra-canonical" books (that never made it into the Bible) even more problems show up. I knew, from my religious readings, that many of these documents came from different faith trajectories that all developed during the first century. Paul's writings were obviously directed to a different group than was Mark's gospel, or John's. What I looked for were common threads that might have come from a still earlier source (the "oral tradition") which is as close as we ever will come to the actual thoughts of Jesus. I was able to match up 52 thoughts that came from two or more faith trajectories. Based on the number of times the idea shows up, as well as the relitive age of the source material, I further ranked them based on the confidence I had that they were legitimate. They present a Jesus that isn't taught by many (if any) churches. I did all this for a book I was writing, and that was published last winter, called "A Conversation With Yeshua- Creating A Personal Theology". In the book I present all the source material for each of the 52 topics, and then offer my own interpretation of the quotes. At the end of the book I combine all of my interpretations to come up with a dialog, or conversation, between Jesus and the reader. The idea is that a reader could look at all the quotes, write down his own interpretations, and then see how Jesus actually speaks to him, or her. At the end of the day, I came up with the following two sentences, that I think totally summarizes Jesus' teachings: "You are entering the Kingdom of God when you commit to a life of righteousness and peace. You are living the Kingdom of God when you live this commitment." If you are interested, the book is available through, and several Christian on-line book sellers. I think the price is around $10. I'd love to be able to make this available through the ULC book store, but don't know the best way to contact them to see if they would be interested. Also, each week I do a blog, which gives the quote for the week, and the books I referenced. The blog can be found at Thanks for your interest. I hope this reply wasn't too long!
  4. The main message that I found is this: "Righteousness and peace are not some abstract thoughts. They will not be found by lookng around and waiting for them to come to us. They are found within all of us, although we may not realize it. The time of righteousness and peace comes when we practice it. To begin living a life filled with righteousness and peace, we have to forget how we have been taught to live, and look at the world as a child would, innocent of the world's evils. Care for others as much as you would care for yourself. Forgive those who want to hurt you. Don't forget your responsibilities to others, but dedicate your life to the Creator. And don't trust earthly riches." That basically was Jesus' primary message, although he did have thoughts about divorce, hypocrites and about keeping arbitrary rules. The one thing he did not say was that his was the only way. He was trying to teach a violent world a new way to live. Unfortunately, most of us still haven't learned.
  5. Basically, I went back to all of the first century texts that I am aware of that were generated by non-related Christian sects to find common sayings. Since each group was not directly related to the others, common sayings probably originated from an earlier source, often called the Oral Tradition. If more than two sources quote the same words, or line of thought, the probabiity is even higher that the words come from the Oral Tradition. The books I used included the letters of Paul, the Gospel Oxyrhnchus 1224, The Gospel of Mark, the Q Gospel (including several orphan sayings only used by Matthew or Luke), the Gospel of Thomas, the Edgerton Gospel, The Diache, the Gospel of John and the First Epistle of Peter. I came up with 52 common sayings. It was a lot of work.
  6. For the past several months I have been posting a weekly blog relating to the original teachings of Jesus, or more precisely Yeshua Bar Yosep. If any of you are interested, it can be found at I also maintain a Facebook page with the name "A Conversation With Yeshua" which gives the same quotes each week as my blog. I'm always looking for new "friends", so if you are interested, don't be shy! Brother Peter
  7. Happy Easter to you all! On this most holy of Christian holidays, I would like to share with you what I consider the most important of Jesus' thoughts. We find this expressed in the Gospel of Thomas, the source material Luke used, and in the writings of Paul. Righteousness and peace are not some abstractions. They will not be found by looking around and waiting for them to come to us. They are found within all of us, although we may not realize it. The time of righteousness and peace come when we practice it. Peace to you all.
  8. I too, would like to share my sadness for these friends. I am reminded of the words that I was once told are written on a tombstone in Spain. I heard this over 45 years ago, and it still stays with me. "When I was born my family and friends gathered about me and smiled... and I cried. And when I died my family and friends gathered about me and cried... and I smiled!" Let us hope that death came quickly, and that they are at peace in whatever afterlife there might be. Let us hope that the family members that lived will recover from their hurting.
  9. As we think about and pray for the people of Japan, I would like to share something that might give us all pause: I have,and maintain at my home, an official US Geological Survey seismograph for measuring earthquakes. This instrument sends data to Colorado, where it is analyzed. At my home, at the western edge of the Rocky Mountains, we recorded the shaking from the Japan earthquake, approximately three minutes after it occured. The energy travelled approximately half way around the world in three minutes. It was of course, very slight by the time it reached here. Only the seismograph noticed it. But when I looked at those graphs of ground acceleration, and could recognize the same patterns as seismographs in Japan were recorded, I realized all of us here were, in a way, joined with the people of Japan. We all, in a very small way, experienced the terrible earthquake. The world is a very small place.
  10. It is with great sadness that we all look at what is happening to our brothers and sisters in Japan. They, as a nation, will come through this, although so many families have been affected and are hurting. It is all too easy to visualize the horror that perhaps 10,000 or more people faced in their last moments. Let us hope that the end came swiftly and easily for these, as well as those who died a month ago in New Zealand. Let us hope that they have found peace in whatever type of afterlife there might be.
  11. Hi Brother Peter, your world is so different to where I am, here in the sub tropical Wide Bay area of Queensland Australia where we never see ice or snow. What is worse I do not know, but I never complain of the cold here. THe humidity can be draining at times, but it is also never too hot. The locals all declare it to be 'Gods Own Country', and it is as he has only lent us the use of h...

  12. Welcome to our world wide church! I see you are already posting in the forum.

    I hope you find membership interesting and rewarding.

    Best wishes,

    Brother Peter McDonough

  13. Welcome. I hope you enjoy the interesting group of folks who regularly visit the Forum sites. There is always something new to read and comment on.

  14. An interesting variety of responses. I would pray that members of the Westboro church remember the basic teaching to treat others as you would wish to be treated. They might also consider several of Yeshua's comments on hypocrisy, such as Luke 6:41 and Luke 11:39-40.
  15. Thank you for the nice comments. I'll have to see if others are having any problems posting to my blog. And then figure out how to fix it! Brother Peter